When Is Genetic Reasoning Not Fallacious?

Argumentation 16 (4):383-400 (2002)
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Abstract

Attempts to evaluate a belief or argument on the basis of its cause or origin are usually condemned as committing the genetic fallacy. However, I sketch a number of cases in which causal or historical factors are logically relevant to evaluating a belief, including an interesting abductive form that reasons from the best explanation for the existence of a belief to its likely truth. Such arguments are also susceptible to refutation by genetic reasoning that may come very close to the standard examples given of supposedly fallacious genetic reasoning

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Kevin Klement
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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